Last summer, Cindy Sherman made waves when she made her private Instagram account public, unleashing a stream of more or less heavily altered and tweaks selfies. Now, the artist is using Instagram to make a more literal splash: she has turned one of her posts into a smartphone-shaped inflatable float. Produced in collaboration with the Melbourne- and LA-based creators of artist-designed goods Third Drawer Down, sales of the buoyant object benefit +Pool, the floating, water-filtering pool being developed for New York City.
“I’ve been a fan of this project since the moment I heard about it,” Sherman said in a statement. “I’m happy to do what I can to help make it a reality.”
The photographic and photogenic floatation device features one of Sherman’s characteristically playful and distorted Instagram images, “Oops” (2017), which features the artist giving a thumbs-up while a photoshopped wig floats bizarrely atop her be-hatted head. The image is framed within a large, white smartphone interface with a metallic gray underside. When fully inflated, the float is five and a half feet long. It comes in a transparent swim bag emblazoned with an apt Sherman saying: “I’d rather be swimming.”
Sherman’s Oops Phone Float will make its debut at +Pool’s upcoming Pool Party benefit (June 20), with a retail price of $250. Those looking to take a deeper dive into the market for inflatable art should keep their eyes on eBay, where a float signed by Sherman will be going up for sale. After the Pool Party, Third Drawer Down will donate some proceeds from wholesale and retail sales of Sherman’s open edition pool float. (The company also helped create David Shrigley’s Ridiculous Inflatable Swan Thing for last year’s +Pool benefit.)
Though this type of floating contemporary artwork is rather rare, beach- and pool-related accessories with comparable provenance are not unheard of. The Art Production Fund, for instance, has commissioned an extensive series of beach towels emblazoned with works by Marilyn Minter, John Baldessari, Tracey Emin, and, yes, even Cindy Sherman.